As evidenced by my pizza coverage on Slice, I spend a good amount of time hunting down San Diego’s best pizza across all genres, including stuffed, coal-fired, and traditional NYC-style. But my love of pizza doesn’t end with savory options, I also love dessert pizza. My experiences trying to locate a good sweet slice have been mixed. The Merk does a decent dessert pie, but it’s really more like a baked crepe than a variant of pizza.
A much better option is Zia Gourmet Pizza, a Normal Heights pizzeria that pushes the boundaries of what pizza can (and should) be, by topping them with everything from baked eggplant to dried cranberries. When it comes to dessert pizzas, there are three different dessert options: Cinnamon Pear, Tropical Splash, and Banana Split. All three sounded tasty, but since there was a Banana Split pie hot and fresh from the oven, that’s what I chose.
The Banana Split pizza ($3.75/slice) is topped with chocolate, cream cheese, banana slices, and sesame seeds. This is the most literal interpretation of “dessert pizza” I’ve ever tasted – it’s sweet, but it still has the same texture as a traditional pizza — unlike most dessert pizzas, which just look (a bit) like regular pizza. Most of the magic comes from the cream cheese, which has a similar texture to ricotta, making the dessert pie taste like a sweet version of a white stone slice. The combination of bananas and chocolate is timeless, and mixes very well with the cream cheese. The chocolate is on the dark side, so it’s sweet, but not overpowering. The crust is sublime, even without the toppings. Made from the same dough as the regular pizzas, but with a generous portion of palm sugar, it’s a bit crumbly and flaky around the edges — and tastes a lot like a cookie.
Inventive savory pies and delicious dessert pizzas definitely qualifies Zia Gourmet Pizza as a hidden treasure.
Zia Gourmet Pizza
3311 Adams Ave, San Diego, California 92116